An Open Letter to the Emperor’s Chair: “Let’s Go Eat Some Worms!

“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, 

Guess I’ll go eat worms, 

Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones, 

Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms. 

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one, 

Oh how they wiggle and squirm. 

Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones, 

Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.”

To my friend Graham (whom I have not actually met):

Find solace in the fact that nobody likes me either, and from what I hear Joel Hess is not on any popularity list known to man. As I see it, the purpose of ‘The Jagged Word,’ is to push against the norms and speak the truth to a world full of comfortable lies. We live in an odd time where Huxley’s vision and Orwell’s vision have in some way both become reality. To speak truth in A Brave New World meant exile. Speaking truth in 1984 meant death. Speaking truth in our day means unpopularity and ostracism.


America is a strange mixed bag of people who think they are rugged individualists, but are really cultural and political conformists. Even being “anti-cultural” has become hip and given the title of being a “hipster.” This has been the case for quite some time. Think beatniks, yippies, and hippies; there is nothing new under the sun. Joel speaks the truth about art and music, you speak the truth about politics, I speak the truth about culture, and Paul preaches the truth of Christ crucified. Such messages will never be received with open arms and the messenger will inevitably be treated with derision.

So where do we go from here? We keep bringing up the tough discussions, precisely on the topics, which make others squirm. We discuss art through the lens of quality, truth, and meaning. We discuss politics and the joke that is our political system, perceptions, and life. We discuss our current cultural milieu with as much honesty and cankerous mockery as can be mustered. And finally, we all, within our own calling on ‘The Jagged Word,’ preach the unadulterated freedom in Christ to a world that is hopeless and lost.


Finally, here is the good news… While it is true that no one likes you, Joel, or me, everyone seems to like Paul. So we let him be our ambassador and leader. Paul has a gift for bringing outsiders to the table and inviting them into a conversation that would normally exclude their input. He is, at least in this instance, the general and we are the soldiers. So we fall into line and do what we can to help him answer the question: what the hell is going on here? We persevere until that question is answered. So nobody likes us, but what the hell, there is nothing new in that statement for me, and I suspect not for you either. So instead of running off to eat worms, keep calm and carry on.

Your Friend,

Scott Keith

The Cantankerous Critic